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Girl Thriving Years After Having Half Her Brain Removed

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Seven years ago, WJZ introduced you to a very special girl from Texas, who captured our hearts.

Jessie Hall was only six-years-old when she underwent radical brain surgery to save her life at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

On Friday, she came back to Baltimore.

WJZ's Mary Bubala with the new chapter in Jessie's life.

Who can forget Jessie's bubbly personality back in 2008? It was hard to tell she was suffering from a rare brain disease that caused seizures, twitches and loss of movement called Rasmussen's encephalitis.

WJZ was there as world-renowned physician Dr. Ben Carson performed a hemispherectomy, removing half of her diseased brain. The surgery was a success.

We followed Jessie's recovery--remarkable then and now.

Today, she's a healthy, happy 13-year-old, who loves to play basketball.

"I really like basketball," she said. "But I learned how to play it so well, I learned how to do tricks with the basketball. I didn't give up."

Now she's in Baltimore speaking at the 2015 International Hemispherectomy Conference and Family Reunion.

Her message: "Don't give up. Keep trying. If you do it wrong, fix it."

Her parents, who shared their frightening journey with WJZ so many years ago, are thrilled to tell us Jessie is thriving.

"Life right now for the Hall family is good. Jessie's been seizure-free for years," her dad, Cris Hall, said. "She goes to a regular public school in Texas and makes A's and B's and has a life just like any other 13-year-old teenage kid."

Her dad says Jessie is talking about boys, someday driving a car and trying out for the basketball team.

This fall, Jessie will enter the eighth grade. Her dream is to keep playing basketball, and one day, head off to college.

If you'd like to learn more about Jessie's journey, head to the family's foundation website.

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